News Headlines     |     


UK tour operators unite against French ski hosting ban
Wednesday February 27, 2013 - Email this article to a friend

All the major tour operators have met to decide a course of action following the decision of a French court to ban ski hosting. In an unprecedented show of support all are rallying round the company taken to court, Le Ski.

First posted: Friday March 1, 2013

The meeting took place in London on Thursday.

The tour operators present were Alpine Elements, Crystal Ski, Inghams, Le Ski, Mark Warner, Neilson, Ski Esprit, Ski Olympic, Ski Total, Skiworld, Thomson, VIP-SKI.

The operators all supported Le Ski. The company has launched an appeal after the court ruling in Albertville last week.

"All ski operators present were fully supportive of Le Ski in its appeal as ski customers are currently unable to benefit from this popular service," said a joint statement from the tour operators.

We reported on the London meeting taking place in this earlier story on PlanetSKI.

The court in Albertville ruled that the company, Le Ski, broke French law by allowing its ski hosts to show guests around the slopes.

It broke Article L.212-1 of the Sport Code in France that requires people to have a qualification to teach or lead skiing if financial remuneration takes place.

The hosts are not qualified though most do a short course.

All UK operators have now stopped ski hosting. 

The hosts take people round the easy slopes showing them the resort and where the best places for lunch are. No teaching takes place and the guests are not taken on difficult runs or off piste.

We reported on the court case last week here on PlanetSKI and also discussed the issues raised with Nick Morgan on BBC Radio 4;  see here to listen to a recording of the programme.

The story has generated widespread coverage in the national media and heated debate on social media.

The case has been seen as a PR disaster for the Ecole du Ski Français, ESF, that was supportive of the court action brought by the French state.

The ESF has been widely criticised in the UK though it claims it was getting the law clarified and supporting the case on safety issues.

Here at PlanetSKI we have spoken to the European Confederation of Outdoor Employers that is based in Belgium.  

Its secretary, Jean-Yves Lapeyrere, believes an appeal to a higher French court at Chambery is unlikely to be successful and it may have to go all the way to Brussels.

The Ski Club of Great Britain is to continue its hosting and leader service in France.  Its representatives are unpaid and therefore are not covered by the Albertville court ruling.

The Ski Club of Great Britain was not present at the London meeting on Thursday.

Le Ski meanwhile has thanked all those who have supported it.

"We would like to thank everyone for their positive comments and feedback regarding the Ski Hosting situation. We appreciate all the support we have had from our guests, other Tour Operators, friends and of course all of the Le Ski staff past and present," it said in a statement on Facebook.

Ski hosting continues in every other alpine country except France.

In North America many resorts in the USA and Canada offer a free guiding and hosting service to guests.

Lake LouiseSki Friend in Lake Louise, Canada













For the spirit of the mountains


Related Articles

US indoor slope faces more delays (Wednesday October 30, 2019)
FANCY SOME SKI STATS? (Monday October 7, 2019)
SKI FLIGHT FREE IS LAUNCHED (Thursday October 3, 2019)
UK SKI INDUSTRY EMBRACES GREEN (Monday September 30, 2019)
SNOW-CAMP WINS TRAINING AWARD (Tuesday August 27, 2019)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners